« Philosophize This!

Episode #009 ... The Buddha

2013-11-10 | 🔗
On this episode of the podcast, we learn about the life of Siddhartha Gautama and his Heisenberg-esque transformation into Buddha. We learn how Buddha left a lifestyle of being fed grapes and being fanned with palm leaves to pursue a life of celibacy, starvation, and sleep deprivation. We also learn about how Buddha reached enlightenment while sitting beneath a fruit tree à la Isaac Newton, and about the four noble truths which he believed were the key to ending human suffering once and for all. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For more information about this or any episode of the podcast chow, got the website at philosophize. This start org. We have additional content further reading. Scripts of every show, all pre. Of course, But if you value the shows an educational resource and you want to help keep it going, you can find that more about how to do that at patriarch dot com, slash philosophize this or alter notably for you're, buying something from Amazon this week anyway concern clicking through our banner it's at the bottom center of the landing page. It philosophize this org. Small percentage goes back to the show. It may just be a click for you, but every little bit adds up there key for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday, and I hope you have a show if you had Think of the most common symbols of Buddhism or Buddhists thought what The first thing that has to come to your mind is the Lotus flower and it's actually not arbitrary. At all I mean it's not like big lie
but his flower incorporated lobbied Congress to become the official flower sponsor of Buddhism. They can make a bunch of money. It's a powerful metaphor for the path to enlightenment. The plant itself is actually the inequality perennial? It grows most of its life underwater and it's tough to find naturally occurring pools of stagnant water than art swamp lands, especially in India. It begins growing from the floor of the sky, through the muddy disgusting one quarter, it reaches for the light and when it finally reaches the surface it blossoms and if you ve never seen a Lotus flower and full bloom, it's one of the most. For flowers you'll ever see, and if you didn't take a minute to think about it, you might miss. most amazing part of all this beautiful flower. This thing looks like something you'd see on a clean xbox. It never known anything but money and murky water. It created this beautiful flower with nothing but I could conjure with this little plot a swamp. It exists in much like the lotus
humans are born into muddy, painted difficult to navigate waters, and most people never blossom? Most people say their entire life content with the murky water through Buddhism, with enough hard work and the right planet how to get are, you too can achieve enlightenment, and you, who can rise above the muddy waters, as the Buddha did twenty five hundred years ago sea, because before he was known as the Buddha, he was just a normal guy. Like you and me, his name was Sadara Gotama and it wasn't always easy for him years after he reached Nirvana. He compared his journey to the journey of a lotus flower. He said it like this quote: imagine a red lotus that had begun life underwater, but grew and rose above the surface until it stood free. So I too have to and send the world and attain the Supreme Enlightenment, then the person you
Talking to you, when you say- and that was a little confused by what he just said- he followed up with a question. Well, who are you then, and he said remember me as the one who woke up hello everyone. It's me Stephen West. This is philosophize this and today show was about Buddhism, but not all of Buddhism. When you have such a successful and effective way of thinking, the world, I think, inevitably, you're gonna, have hundreds of offshoots or individual variants of it Buddhist has evolved into a massive religion, a religion that, over the years, has found a foothold of success in countless cultures and dozens of countries and not all for the same each culture, each time period made their own adjust. And so that it translated to the people of their time that they were trying to sell it to just like Pythodorus or louts someone born this long ago, adopt sort of a mythical status and their life gets embellished and gets
superpowers tacked on to it in all sorts of other stuff. All these different interpretations, led to any normal spectrum of ideas that people a tribute to their personal definition of Buddhism, even down the story of its origins and each one has their own favourite variant of the teachings, the most interesting of which will touch on in future episodes, but most of which only served to confuse people about what the Buddha actually pot a fair there, just as right as anyone else, a biography of Buddha wasn't written down until almost five hundred years after he died. I mean imagine how trust, you'd be of information that adjust underwent a game of telephone that lasted five hundred years, a line of thirteen year old girls at a slumber party that so long. The game takes five hundred years end because I can't think of any one else that actually play that game. The best thing you can do is approaching historically, and the way you find the most credible information, the facts that are most likely to be accurate is
find the similarities between all the different stories. Much like hey, you find what the teachings of Buddha whereby finding the common teachings or practices. This is not upon cast about religion, its upon cast about philosophy. This episode is not about some interesting variant of Buddhism from the twelfth century. It's about the philosophy of Suharto got him and the President's it set for future philosophers to use as a springboard, real quick. Thank you all for the really kind, emails and support, despite the hiatus that we Returned from I'm really glad to be back in a cat. Thank you guys enough for the donations. It feels amazing to bring you guys something that you love so anyway. Here we go this way it begins in the sixth century bc in them middle of the night. In an indian kingdom, the queen of this kingdom had a dream this dream. She came upon a white elephant who offered her a Lotus flower when she took the flower. The elephant supposedly
dove into the side of her body, seemingly into her womb and Months later she gave birth to sit art I gotta seven days after that the queen would die. Gotta never have they mother, but, more importantly, he was too young to experience the pain of losing a loved one. That'll be important later, it seems pretty clear that said: Arthur was born into nobility and access has every account. I've seen says basically the same thing: the Son of a king he's the heir to the throne, every luxury he could imagine was given him without a moment s hesitation, huge banquets. Throngs of in constant entertainment at his beckon call. We actually have his own first person account from later on in his life when he told his followers about his life at the palace. As a child quote, I lived in refinement, utmost refinement, total refine my father even had Lotus ponds made in our palace. One were red: lotuses bloomed one were white lotuses bloomed one were blue, lotuses bloomed, all from
I sake I use no sandalwood. That was not from Varanasi. My turban was from Varanasi, as were my tunic, my lower garments and my outer cloak a white sunshine it was held over me day and night to protect me from cold heat dust dirt, and do I had three palaces one for the cap. Season, one for the hot season. One for the rainy season during four months of the rainy season. I was entertained in the rainy season palace by minstrels, without a single man among them, and I did not once come, Down from the palace, whereas the servants, workers and retainers and other people's homes are fed meals of Lintel soup and broken rice in my father's hum the servants were Curzon retainers were fed wheat rice and meet end quote so it seems pretty safe to say, was born directly into the lap a luxury, and it's important to note just for a second, how easy it is to grow complacent when this lifestyles a reality, I mean how easy would it have been preceded, adjust, continuous life,
abundance and constant celebration become king and Just never worry about anything out of out of mind right this is why he holds a special place. In my heart we talked about things of my latest being unique because he pine, the world of philosophy, not by means of necessity, but because of a genuine curiosity and an extremely high level intellect said Arta with similar. In this way I mean are any warring states in his neck of the woods. He had everything, or so most people would think he lived. This privilege, lifestyle for twenty nine years and then its clear something happened. No matter how old you are. Most of us can think back to a life, defining more when I'm talking about some event that took place that changed your trip trajectory in one direction or another, I think most people have one or two of these in their life and Sadara was about to have his. There are known as the four sites legend has it that
Dad the king of the empire was told by a sage right before said, Arthur was born. That his son was destined to become one of two things. He would either become a king that would unite all the of of Indian go on to rule the entire world or you would be a spiritual leader now glance. That seems pretty profound. I I mean how did the sage know? How could he possibly have predicted that I started thinking about it? Really, how hard was to predict. It's like telling the President of the United States that his kids either going to go into politics or they're, going to be doing valet parking at a hotel. It was a pretty safe bet. He was going to be king said artist. Father took it very seriously. Several sources talk about this Irish lifestyle locked away in a palace is not only being a nice perk of being royalty, but his father's way of shielding him from all the suffering in the world so that he wouldn't become a spiritual leader coming here wanted his son to be a king. He wanted them to unite all the tribes of India and if you really believe that.
Only other option. He has to become a spiritual leader, then maybe would try to keep the blinders on for a while. The story goes that seductive was just pretty unexplored. We riding around in a chariot throughout the kingdom. He wasn't really going anywhere is looking at every one. Last economically, as he drives around He comes across an old man and apparently the sky is beyond old, like old wrinkly. Why This guy had a single digit social security number in Sudan Having lived such a privilege life he looks at the guy is just confused. He turns to the driver the guide. Royal charioteer that was assigned to him. That came along with them on this right along and he goes. What is that? Having lived such a privilege- life. He had never even seen old age before and his driver goes well said, Arthur that that's aging, that and it's just really all that happens to all of US animals humans. We all get old standard. Now,
so start as a little taken aback by that, but they keep going along. I mean it's, not gonna, let that ruinous Sunday. You know they keep right and he comes across- comes across a second person guy. This guy is incredibly sick. He looks terrible. He obviously some sort of disease at ailing him and just like the first encounter said, artists shocked. He has no idea, what's even happening because this sheltered up, bringing he's never seen any of this stuff. So we asked to drive her again what's going on with that guy and the driver says: oh, that's, just sickness look, don't worry about it: It happens to all of us, it doesn't matter if you're homeless or a king. Eventually, everyone gets sick and starts to deteriorate. Then Sadara gets notably set he keeps drive and along and now The driver comes across a dead body, lay in the middle of the road. Now, at this point, what's goin on here I mean how many dead bodies and sick people we need to drive pass before it's no longer a leisurely stroll. What can a path? Is this guy taken me on this guy's worse than SIRI, but nevertheless
seize the dead body and again he asked the driver about in the driver says. As you probably guessed, it happens all of us and then said Arthur, realises something he realizes that the natural state of things is suffering and death. This was the real world that seeing right now and for twenty nine years he had been shielded from seeing it the obvious, parallel to modern times, as in the movie, the matrix were NEO finds out, he's been living in a false compete regenerated reality in the energy is buying produces used to power race of machines, and this Why Keanu Reeves being the worst actor of all time? You could still tell that it crushed him and said Arthur. Was feeling this in real life. He must have felt something extremely similar to this. To top but off that wasn't even enough to call it a day right now, to realize that he too is gonna grow old. One day, he too is going
get sick and die in his relatives would get sick and die. His children would get sick and die and now all of a sudden he doesn't know how to deal with it all and if you think about it, this is a problem that all humans have to face. It Point and have a wide variety of ways that they try to answer these tough questions, the philosophy Buddhism really is centred around answering this question. Is there a way to it? this seemingly inevitable suffering, he can use the right along around his kingdom and the last thing he comes across as a man that would look strange today, but was actually very common at the time this man what we would now know as an aesthetic and if you ve, never heard this term before it's important understandable but a history surrounding this time period. Generally speaking, the further back in history you go the money or the details get about. The things are reading about. This even applies to things as port and as a complete hostile takeover of an entire area, we're Talkin six hundred BC. The most popular
Our theory that currently around about the time leading up to this point in India is that sometime around fifteen hundred BC a massive army of Erin people from the West swooped in income and everything in indian many things further east they set up agricultural communities. They integrated their language sanskrit and establish Vd Ism, one the earliest predecessor, some modern Hinduism, with gods and rituals, and all kinds other good stuff So, after several hundred years of being subjugated people, this area of India was just getting kind of tired of it. It was period of societal upheaval in six hundred BC. They had all these gods. They were supposed to pray to Agnes the Fire- God Indra, the God of war, but the speed all the sacrifices and rituals they were doing. Nothing was happening. I mean people were still suffering. People were losing faith in the power of these gods, so he saw was a new popular line of thought emerging where people still believed in the veto gods, but they thought the gods warrant. All powerful
Even they were subservient to a larger, all powerful force of the universe. Then, in addition to this, change. It became more and more popular and respected to live a sacrificial life of spiritual exploration, people that announced the world they were born into and, more importantly, vetoes em and looked inward. Their own method of ending suffering were called renunciation, causes. They saw these suppose it God's work do much about it. Just try to think how you feel living during their time. Her to meet there I believe in the modern notion of some glorious, afterlife forever things perfect. Rollicking around in the clouds and talking to people for hundreds of thousands or me billions of years. Whatever you do in Heaven, I mean they didn't, leave any of that stuff. Reincarnation was a widely accepted belief of the time you were reborn. Based on the merit of your actions in previous lies, so the way they sought, they were destined to a life of suffering, sickness and despair and destined. I repeat this cycle over and over and over again, it's no one
There they sought away to end at all and this seemingly inevitable cycle with the aim of said, Arthur Godmother and the aim of this class of people known as the renunciations, a more general term than renunciants for people that live the the life of deprivation and spiritual you in you've seen people starving themselves. Maybe going without sleep even down to things like breathing as little as possible. These people were called aesthetics, nonsense aesthetics, although they weren't exactly the same. The tutor, are more or less interchangeable in the context of the sixth century BC, India, the important part understanding this lifestyle that was growing in popularity as a response to the decline of the authority of the priest, teaching vetis. Alright, so now But we understand the history back to the foreign counters. That said, Arthur gotta, my hat, the
first sight was an old man. The second sight was a sick man. The third site was a dead man and the fourth sight was one of these aesthetics deep in meditation. These four encounters completely change the outcome of his life, singly ascetic, shocked him me for the first time this life. He was made aware of these inevitable problems and all humans face and for the this time in his life. He was made aware there were people out there trying to find a solution to it. All the story goes. That, after seeing the aesthetic he instantly was determined to find the cause of human suffering, and once he found it, how to possibly end it. Nothing mattered to him anymore. He didn't care about his life of abundance or his future. As a ruler of a kingdom, he didn't even care about his wife and newborn baby. He had to seek answers. One thing he was sure of is that he knew he couldn't do this work still living in the policy to leave and when he did, it was kind of a rebirth, theirs
see that's commonly portrayed of his life. Where he's already decided he's leaving his life of royalty, he's already told us parents what he's gonna do and he's take off the royal garments and jewelry and put it on the generic modest, yellow row. Then all the aesthetics, where he's ease cutting his hair short he's reinventing himself for his new quest. Then it gets on his favorite horse just rides off into the horizon a new person, here's how he described it quote, although my father and stepmother were grieving. With tears on their faces. I cut off my hair put on the yellow, robes and went forth from home into homelessness. I had been wounded by the enjoyment of the world, and I had come out longing to obtain peace and quote. Can imagine how surreal it must have been from just a few, earlier. He was living with unlimited abundance, his entire life he'd, never gone hungry or desired anything that he didn't immediately get now. Things were different, much differ,
I mean he went from one percent to occupy Wall Street in a matter of minutes and look by the way. I know what you guys are thinking Whatever happened to his favorite horse the when he rode off into the sunset on no, you mean you guys warrant thinking that neither was I actually but apparently it's very important information, because all the buddhist text that I see got a great measures to make it here that his horse later died of a broken heart and that he was- reincarnated as a God as a repayment for his assistance to Buddha's enlightenment, so the universe at least for a while was being run by a horse just thought. You guys want to know that Start a soon realise that the life of an aesthetic wasn't an easy one at first, we had no idea where to begin, but he had seen the aesthetics practising meditation, so it seemed like a good place to start as someone who grew up in western culture at first glance, all this Buddhist
may seem really novel like while Buddha really came up with. On a step. Not only is great philosophy but a whole system of reincarnation. A whole system of meditation, but really most of the stuff, was com, Practice around the time said artist set out on his spiritual journey and had been for some time. Meditation had long been in institution. Were practices, looked to curb their ordinary responses to things in their life and to remove these subconscious judgments about the world around us and impede our ability to make spiritual progress. That was the thinking a common, Buddhist say about meditation is that it's the art of taming, the mad monkey mind the animalistic default state that your brain is in. If you don't work on it, tax believed so much in the idea that what our mind tells us by default is preventing us from spiritual progress that they took it to the absent extreme, with everything: complete celibacy, starvation, sleep deprivation, this goes on desire was the enemy and legend has it.
For his time as an aesthetic said, Arta got my only eight were Grain of rice per day and drink his own urine. He slept on nails. He stood on one foot because Heaven forbid, he desired the extravagant luxury of a second foot. He described himself during this time period where he was an aesthetic like this quote, My body slowly became extremely emaciated. My limbs became like the jointed segments of vine or bamboo stems my spine and stood out like a string of beads. My ribs jutted out, like the jutting, crafters of an old abandoned building the. Name of my eyes appeared to be sunk deep in my eye, sockets like the gleam of waterdeep in a well my scalp, shriveled and withered, like a green bitter, gourd, shriveled and withered in the heat and wind, in quote, what it for some reason it didn't work out becoming the leader of a movement. He could have easily written better fan fiction and fifty shades agree at some pretty good imagery, but through meditation said, Arthur came to the conclusion that it was
this preoccupation with ourselves and our distorted perception of the world that comes with it that causes suffering in modern terms. This would be known as the ego, but even It was relatively commonly known at the time the big question, These are subjects the one that gotta would later claimed to have solved is how to achieve enlightenment, the complete removal of that ego and all the disturbances in the mind, combined with a god like level of concentration control, it's not easy to say the least, and when he began his journey p had already tried a lot of different stuff and to his credit, dabbled in basically all of it for a period. The first thing he did as Mosa Satic did is try to find a guru or a teacher that claimed to have a way to end human suffering and try to learn something from them for six years. He lived this lifestyle, he begged for money, he begged for food. He slept in the dirt sometimes reportedly enforce that were said to be haunted, but all the while looking for a good teacher in using adaptation to slowly become more in tune with the workings of his human nature,
hoping that learning to pay close attention to himself would help give him a clue on what the true path to enlightenment was its clear that all the effects, instant, but it's also clear that he soon realise that nothing ever last very long. This whole existence is in permanent and that would become a crucial base for his philosophy. He also realise that, despite starving himself, despite all this deprivation, he was doing, still didn't understand. Anything he listened to what everyone had to say and followed what their idea of the best way is, but was getting nowhere, which expire means why all the other aesthetics didn't really give me where either- and this is when Buddha went off the deep and you guys he he decided to eat apparently all of his ascetic friends rejected him and People there is someone who loves extravagance it because he decided to not starve himself to death. Now they say, like you, haven't changed you're still, just a prince that eats all the time you love luxury, but
we had this crazy idea that, maybe just maybe you didn't need to starve yourself to find the truth. I think it was This point, that said, Arthur realized something he knew that his old life, the life in the palace, where each days filled with him indulging in sensual pleasures. This lifestyle doesn't truly bring happiness. We aren't truly satisfied when we do. These things, the happiness just leaves us soon after and is impermanent and fleeting. Then, on the other hand, this life, the aesthetics at carved out for themselves, this life of constant abstinence, starving yourself that life wasn't yielding any real returns either, so it was just as flawed as the other lifestyle as far as he saw it. He realized that the true path to enlightenment lied somewhere between these two extremes and he called this path, the middle way, whether he was right or wrong about this. He was tired of waiting for for an answer. He was determined to find the answer that would end his quest. There's a town called boating,
Gaia, Northeastern India were darted godmother sat down next to a fig tree with complete conviction, and made a serious and life changing proclamation. He swore that no matter what happened, he would not leave the base of that fig tree until he had found the path to enlightenment. He was prepared to die if he did this and twenty thirteen people would probably pull out their smartphones and start may a Youtube video, but to be fair in two thousand, and thirteen asceticism isn't in vogue, and people would probably think he was an eco Marcus that chained himself to the fig tree trying to save it. Nonetheless, you have to admire how high he was willing to take the stakes he put it like. This quote: let my skin and sinews and bones dry up together with all the flesh and blood of my body. I welcome it, but I will not move from this spot until I have attained the supreme and final wisdom. End quote: it said that under that fig tree, he had a transcending
experience he saw all of his past lies passed before his eyes. He gained new in regarding karma in reincarnation and gained the old wisdom, which helped him iron out what he would later called the four noble truths he had done it. He had reached Nirvana from this point forward. He was known as the boy, the term Buddha means the awakened one and for me, when I think this moment in his life when he sits under that fig tree in he puts his life on the line to finances and leaves the fig tree a different person. When I think of this moment of transformation, I think of Walter White for anyone breaking bad fan, there's a moment were Walter White is looking for stacks of money that he hid in the crawl space of his house and it's gone and he's freak out his wife tells him she loan the money to her ex lover and boss and Walter just loses it means starts laughing like its deaf comedy jam.
Huge fans of the show say that they realized later that that moment in the crawl space was the exact moment when Walter White made the full transformation into Heisenberg Walter White went into the crawl space. Heisenberg came out, Sharda Gotama began meditating at the base of the fig tree and stood up the Buddha. So there was good news and bad news to this. The good news is that hurray he had finally found the cause of human suffering, a sufficient antidote to it, and the path to enlightenment The bad news was that he was thirty five years old and his work was really only just beginning. Now he wanted to spread what he had learned, but he knew that no, and would believe him he had to find it. To spread his ideas to the world. He went to the first place. He could think of back to all the aesthetics that despised him because he dared to eat that one time he was opening could, when a few of them over, like he predicted, they were sceptical that
suddenly was able to achieve enlightenment, so we told them about the four noble truths. A lot of things may vary between Buddhist schools over the centuries, but the four noble truths are pretty universal across the board Buddha needed waited deliver his new enlightened perspective on suffering to the world? So he broke it down into four stages. The first noble truth was the nature of suffering. The second was the cause of suffering. The third is how suffering can be eliminated, and the fourth is the path or training regimen to remove suffering altogether? So let's do this. The first noble truth is that suffering is universal. But another way to think of that statement is that dissatisfaction is the default state of the human brain Buddha thought that, even when you try really really hard to make your self satisfied or comfortable or happy, it just leaves you as quickly as it came now. Don't get him wrong, he knew
people feel satisfied. Occasionally he knew that people felt happy. He just knew that, no matter what it was, it eventually fades. Let me give an example of what he's talking about. Have you ever had a dream, car or a dream? Anything less do dream car I've ever saw the car on Tv Ghana. Website and picked exactly the one you want. You have the paint job. You want, the interior, the climate control package, whatever the car is proof So then you get the car you're driving around in your happy as a little clam. He showed your friends there all jealous and I dont resent you in the slightest bit people that slightly more attractive and from a slightly higher social standing than you start to talk to you, because you have this really cool car. Now the car is perfect, but no matter how perfect it is that car eventually just becomes your car, the paint to fade a little. You spell blueberry ice cream in the back seat. That never happened to me a renegade
shopping, cart smashes into the side of the car. What I'm trying to say is this: no one would disagree be with you if you said that it's a little weird to have owned a car for six months and walk out of the grocery restore, see your Karsten in the parking lot just go oh my god, it's my car, I look at my car I'm excited just like the first day. I got it. Look at the wheels there so big I mean that would just be crazy. What was once Their dream car is now just yeah. That's my car Buddha says that it's the default state of the human brain to do this with everything your job, your girlfriend, her boyfriend, your smartphone, no matter how good something is eventually it just becomes. Normal the novelty wears off, and you no longer fully appreciate what you have whenever Someone asked me what I would who, if I won the lottery aside from answering,
But I start a lottery, because that seems to be where all the money is. I answer that I actually already have one the lottery think about our lives and a global and historical perspective for a second humans today are better off in me. Thirteen in virtually every single area than they ever have been at any point in human history, especially in developed countries which, most of you guys are from now that doesn't mean that there are still problems and that we should strive for proper breast, but on an individual level, how many of us walk around our everyday lives. Truly appreciate, the standard of living we were born into. We standing on the shoulders of generation after generation of genius, men and women that sacrifice their comfort in time to bring us a more comfortable and less time consuming existence and how many of us care not
packing you. This is the sentiment behind the first noble truth. Dissatisfaction is the default state of the human brain now once have accepted that you're ready for the second noble truth. What is the cause of all this decision? distraction faction. The simple answer is desire, but this desire is created by the mind in different ways: Buddha thought people tell them a lot of stories about why they're dissatisfied, but despite what people tell themselves, he thought you can still it down to one of three things: attachment aversion or ignorance. The first one is attachment Buddha realised the humans attach themselves. The things he realized that humans tend to see something desirable or something they want and not assume that assume that having that thing will make them happy, they tend to exalt they point out all the really good traits about it and ignore all the bad things. The dream job, the dream husband. The car example from earlier falls into this category. It would be an attachment
and don't get all extreme he's not saying you should lock yourself away in a shack and become an aesthetic. Buddha must have experienced the full spectrum of attachment going from his life in the palace to his life as an aesthetic, the second cause of dissatisfaction. Is a version. This is a very common one among a certain type of person. We ve all known someone like this before someone who magnifies there problems and a much bigger things, and they actually are or agonising over things, they really have no control over four. Ample. Someone cots you in line at the bank. Maybe they say, somethin rude deal. Some people would get really mad. I mean for some people that type of situation could ruin their entire day and I could be telling their friends about it for weeks fuming and these people would tell themselves that this anger is to be expected. Is it's just a part of life? They say that if Only they didn't have to deal with all these idiots, cutting them in line at the bank or taken the last box of fruit role.
On the shelf or whatever they're doing you, if only they were gone, they'd be much happier, but what Buddha points out that really someone else that came from a completely different history of experiences could have the same exact things happening to them and not feel slighted in the faintest way. For example, what if you for having the greatest day of your life and your stop him by the bank to get some cash because you're on your way to the circus. In that context, you wouldn't be that bothered by that person in line. Or what, if you were on some bizarre personal quest to become a more patient and for giving person. Someone treating you that way at the bank could be a great opportunity to practice. Patients Buddhist said that this has to do with expectations. We have an expectation that people will treat us in a certain way and when they don't, we feel justified in acting out but does it really solve anything and wise them, not meeting your personal expectation, necessarily a bad thing. We get so upset in the heat of the moment, but that too was in permanent and fleeting. In fact, why
The situation is over. We just kind of move and with our lives and wait for the next one in both of these come together at the third cause of dissatisfaction, ignorance, Buddha thought both of these mines such require you to incorrectly conclude that your individual happy or anger depends on and is controlled by the world around you say to themselves look if only traffic wasn't bad or if only that, guy didn't cut me in line at the bank, then I'd be happy, but this is the ignorance as far as Buddha thought, there are no good things or bad things. There are just things there are tons of examples where things that would typically make you upset in up making. You happy like, for example, someone steals your smartphone on the surface. That seems terrible seems like something you'd be justified in being angry about, but some completely different person might have hated their phone. The new Iphone just came out in their insurance gives them a free up great. If your phone is stolen, they'd be walking
sunshine if they got their phone stolen and there are other versions of that's like someone cuts you off on the freeway you're angry, but then a hundred feet later a tree. Directly where your car was going to be if they didn't cut you off now, you're happy. This is what Buddha was talking about things people places situations. None of these things have inherent characteristics. We just think they do and here's another example of this type of thinking. Let's use the example of breaking bad were talking about it earlier I, like the show breaking bad. Someone else thinks it's a terrible show breaking bad changes, its air time from five p dot m to seven p, DOT M people to get off of work at five. Think that's a great idea, people that start work at six hundred and thirty think it's a terrible idea. Cuz they're, going to miss the show Buddha recognize this way of interpreting the world is a fallacy, and this is why he thought it was an interview.
The way of pursuing happiness. It was destined to fail. The third noble truth is coming to the realisation that suffering can be ended by eliminating desire. But where does this desire come from? You gotta find the nest of termites. If you want to really get rid of him right, the Buddha thought that this constant struggle to get things that you desire comes from selfishness and that selfishness comes from the delusion that you exist separately from every one else see he believed in karma and reincarnation. The way that he sought. We are all part of a giant, eternal structure of existence, its interconnected and all the things that happened. You are not actually caused by you at all. It's the manifestation of previous karmic seeds come to fruition. So in other words, all the things that are happening to you are just a result of a previous action, so really they're.
Is no self the way that we see it all things, including humans, are just a small and ever changing impermanent part part of this process process and suffering, Just us not realizing the truth and unknowingly bucking. The system. There's actually a lot of wisdom in that I mean, since the years before darwinian evolution. Here's a guy that recognizes this ego this software installed in the human brain devised for self preservation that benefits us from a survival standpoint, but actually works towards detriment. If we're just trying to be happy It actually goes really well. In coalition, with Carl Sagan Famous quote that we are away for the universe to understand itself, meaning that billions of years ago, stars exploded and the aftermath destruction, combined the elements that everyone in everything in the universe is made of.
So, in a way all things are linked together. Humans, planets rocks trees but started gotta didn't think that we should completely reject or deny the existence of our personalities or our sense of self, but just realized that it's an illusion and be mindful of which thought patterns were productive or not. Finally, the answer to his question. The way to get rid of suffering is to get rid of your self or ego. So the natural follow up. Question is both. How do you do that? That is the fourth noble truth, the road map two Nirvana, which literally translates to blown out like someone blows out a birthday candle, its referring to the state of being that you achieve when the flames of desire, aversion and ignorance have finally been blown out, he called this guide book to achieving Nirvana the eightfold
eight things you really need to focus on, and if you perfect them, you would achieve enlightenment. These eight characteristics are oftentimes broken down into three categories by Buddhists and the three categories are morality, meditation and wisdom. Morality consisted of three right speech: right action and right. Livelihood meditation consisted of his revised meditation practices, also three which fell under right effort, right, mindfulness and right concentration and wisdom, which was made up of two right understanding and Wright resolve the interpret. Of what each of these mean vary way too much to put any sort of definitive stamp on them. But let's just say it was much easier said than done, but we can gain insight into buddhist philosophy by touching on one of the most important parts of achieving enlightenment meditation. I think a lot of modern, westerners think of Buddhism as being
the same thing as Christianity or Islam or Judaism, except from another part of the world. They think Buddhists, worship, Buddha and that he is their God the overwhelming majority of the time. This isn't even close to the truth. When I think of Buddhism, I like to think of it as a form of mental gymnastics. I've heard it referred to as the greatest self help book ever written. If you're a Buddhist, there is no god that you're beholden to your future is not dependent on the grace of a supernatural god. You won't be damned hell, because you didn't believe in him your fate as a hundred per cent in your own hands and you
significance. The Buddha has as an example of how to reach enlightenment. He famously said. Whoever sees me cease the teaching and whoever sees the teaching sees me. Buddhism isn't about praying to Buddha, hoping things will change its about using the buddhas life as an example to emulate and through effective behaviour. Your lot in life will improve, or at least your perception of it. He didn't see himself as a spiritually, perfect being that shouldn't be questioned and held an absolute reverence. He encouraged discourse in discussion. If you see the word meditation in the Buddhist context, it usually isn't that far away from the word mindfulness and the idea of mindfulness is extremely important. I was reading a blog post of the head of a buddhist congregation and he was talking about the importance of mindfulness and meditation and he described the human condition saying that it was like you committed some heinous crime at birth and were sentenced by some sadistic judge.
A knack for creative justice to a life sentence of a guy that works for the state falling you around everywhere. You go from the moment. You wake up to the moment. You go to sleep and all it does is just get in your face and talk about you nonstop, constantly yammering on about you. It sounds miserable right. He compared this to the conditions humans are actually born into with their and stop internal chatter about themselves. Just try for a second to focus on one thing, trying to sit in complete silence and think about one thing: pencil, pencil, pencil, its supply I how quickly you fail. It doesn't take long at all for you to drift off thinking about something else, even if you're trying really hard not to Buddha, said that this internal chatter, causes us suffering. Mindfulness is about being self aware.
About diligently monitoring every thought you have so that you can determine whether each thought is productive or not, so that eventually you can decrease the bad and leave the ones that are beneficial. The mind is an extremely chaotic thing and the mechanism that Buddhist used to not only be more mindful but tickled debate, all kinds of positive states of being is meditation. If the suffering you're born into can be thought of as a serious injury, meditation would be the physical therapy. Go to to recover and become a stronger person than you ever were, but remember it is part of the eightfold path, It is much easier said than done most of us our entire lives in this constant state of chatter. When something is that ingrained, it can be difficult to realize whether it's even going on at all no one Nirvana was going gonna, be easy or be around after the mid nineties, it's impossible to touch on em
But if you're interested in hearing more about his philosophy and how people have utilised it and shaped it over the years, there are tons of books and communities. That would be glad to have you, long story short after seductive told all his old friends than initially rejected him for not starving himself enough about the four noble truths they were on board. Those people were his first disciples. It wasn't long before hundreds and hundreds of people heard about Buddhism alignment, but as he expected, it did take a while for him to sufficiently recruit and train enough monks and nuns to build a community called the song ha a community that would make achieving enlightenment An easier journey for future people than it was for Sadara the Buddha traveled his later years through northeastern India teaching his ideas gathering new disciples, and
you look at it overall, he was actually really successful and it probably had something to do with the fact that it wasn't, like other philosophical groups that you could join at the time like the dagger Ryan is a more Confucianism. I mean you didn't have to join some alter restrictive colt or have ambitions of becoming a political leader down the line to join. It was for everybody. But all things must end the man who was once a prince in line for the kingship, who spent the majority of his life, searching for truth and teaching what he had found fell ill and died in his final days. He said or delivered this quote to his monks,
It may be the after. I am gone that some of you will think now we have no teacher, but that is not how you should see it. Let the dharma and the discipline that I have taught you be your teacher. All individual things pass away strive on untiringly and quote aside from the massive expansion of Buddhism in India and China for the next one thousand five hundred to two thousand years, its wisdom spread into the bet: Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and- I guess later on in the western culture. So at that time again the question of the week these questions are usually at least semi related to the show, and the main point is just to get people to think about stuff, but use there's some deeper philosophical question at their root for this week. I want to think about family
in said, Arthur got. Him was twenty nine years old, he became an aesthetic and he left behind not only a life of luxury at the palace, but his wife and new born son, and this got me thinking people seem to agree that family is important. Many would say things like my family comes first above anything else. My family blood is thicker than water things like that. But why is blood thicker than water? What is it about family? That makes the relationships with them more significant than any other relationship that you have. Is there some about sharing dna with them. That instantly makes their relationship valuable or, Are your family members just your best friends in the world, even though you wouldn't think of him that way, because of the decades of shared experiences and trust that you have with them? Think about it, and thank you for listening a guy,
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Transcript generated on 2020-10-01.